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Update - New childhood immunisation schedule

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 30, PAGE NO: 44

General practices have six weeks to implement changes to the childhood immunisation schedule.

General practices have six weeks to implement changes to the childhood immunisation schedule.

In a letter outlining the changes, the chief medical officer admitted that the lead time is short, but encouraged prompt implementation of the programme beginning on 4 September.

Pneumococcal vaccine will be included in the childhood immunisation programme at two, four and 13 months, and the schedule for meningitis C and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccines will be modified (see box).

A pneumococcal vaccination catch-up programme for children under two years has been planned to run from September 2006 to March 2007.

The Department of Health has secured sufficient supplies of the pneumococcal vaccine to enable general practices to bring the catch-up programme forward.

The new Immunisation schedule

Two months

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b (DtaP/IPV/Hib), Pneumococcal (PCV)

Three months

DtaP/IPV/Hib, Meningitis C (MenC)

Four months

DtaP/IPV/Hib, PCV, MenC

Around 12 months

Hib/MenC

Around 13 months

Measles mumps and rubella (MMR), PCV

Three years four months to 5 years

Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, (dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV), MMR

Thirteen to 18 years

Tetanus, diphtheria and polio (Td/IPV)

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